Social Media: 5 Ways To Optimize Your Workforce in a Social Marketplace


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Social Media: 5 Ways To Optimize Your Workforce in a Social Marketplace

  1. 1. White Paper5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce forCustomer Contact in a Social MarketplaceGaining Visibility, Discipline and Control at Every Customer Touch Point Introduction How do organizations compete in the social media saturated, mobile marketplace? The challenge is to interact with customers more flexibly and efficiently while still delighting them with a consistent quality experience. This is no easy task given that consumer demand for communications anytime and anywhere is making customer-company collaboration through Web 2.0 and other channels the new norm. A customer contact solution that combines workforce optimization (WFO) with advanced enterprise technologies enables organizations to step up to this challenge. WFO encompasses technologies and business practices that focus enterprise resources and efforts on customer contact. Organizations rely on WFO to plan, execute, measure and continuously improve customer engagement regardless of where or how customer interactions are initiated. Workforce optimization capabilities increase visibility into customer interactions and extend process discipline and control across all customer touch points – from W orkforce Technologies the contact center into the enterprise, and out to the partner ecosystem and Adoption: Growth Outlook the social sphere. For example, speech and desktop analytics, social monitoring, from 2010-20131 and other recording tools capture, evaluate and report customer feedback and—— Workforce management – 27% workforce performance data in real time. This information guides smarter, more—— Workforce optimization – 120% agile operational decisions and empowers the workforce to improve performance through scorecards and automated coaching alerts. Comprehensive staffing plans—— Social media – 93% and flexible scheduling allow the enterprise to marshal and intelligently apply the specialized knowledge of agents, back office staff and experts to customer interactions for the best possible outcomes. This white paper discusses how workforce, quality and performance management W hat is Unified capabilities provide practical business processes and tools for effective staffing, Communications? monitoring, reporting, evaluation and coaching. The essential benefits are greater operational productivity and efficiency, an enhanced collaborative experience for Unified communications (UC) is not a technology; it’s employees and a routinely positive customer experience. Integrated with unified an approach to streamlining communications (UC) technologies, WFO is essential for continually improving the processes and achieving people and processes that drive next-generation customer contact and delivering on business goals that uses the most rigorous expectations of today’s consumer. communications technologies. According to Gartner, UC offers the ability to significantly improve how individuals, groups and companies interact and perform, and enables multiple communication channels to be coordinated.2 1 CedarCrestone 2010-2011 HR Systems Survey, 13th Annual Edition 2 B ern Elliot and Steve Blood. Gartner, Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications.” Jul. 20101 © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. WHITE PAPER 1—Fully Integrate Unified Communications with Workforce Optimization. Gone are the days of agents poring over spreadsheets, searching through contact directories, developing impromptu lists and writing Post-It® note reminders, and then manually dialing for available help. UC and collaboration (UCC) brings together all communications channels and capabilities to connect all contributors to the customer experience – inside and outside the enterprise. UC-powered workforce optimization capabilities save time, effort and guesswork and On-Demand Efficiency enable companies to resolve customer issues much faster. When they’re combined with collaboration software like Microsoft® SharePoint® Server, these capabilities can Unified communications and seamlessly link enterprise expertise, back office resources and the contact center to collaboration can dramatically automate all facets of customer engagement. improve productivity by equipping agents to: Precise and Productive Knowledge Sharing An Internet search for “what happened to customer service” returns well over —— ake advantage of features T 90-100 million results with links to page after page populated with rants about like rich presence for real-time collaboration through voice, unmet expectations. How do organizations deliver faster service to outpace instant messaging (IM) or customers’ short-lived patience and at the same time, cater to consumers’ enduring desktop sharing insistence on quality? Ask-an-expert capabilities allow agents to connect directly with their peers, supervisors, experts, back office staff or partners outside the —— iew available experts by role or V supervisors who can recommend enterprise to resolve customer issues more quickly and effectively. Users can take the best qualified person advantage of features like rich presence to collaborate in real time through voice, instant messaging (IM) or desktop sharing sessions. —— ynch schedule information S for the contact center, the back UC-enabled rich presence not only identifies if a fellow user is online and available, office and other functions with it provides other details about that person, including expertise. This vital information an industry-standard calendaring links agents and others to the right person with the right information at the right time tool like Microsoft® Outlook® in a single communication session. Users view a dynamic list of available experts —— ccess and update schedules A categorized by area of expertise and simply click to make the best connection. over the phone and the Internet Transactions are more efficient and productive and lead to an improved total at any time and from anywhere customer experience. Consider a scenario where a customer is finalizing a decision about a new car purchase and wants specific information about gas mileage. In a typical contact center, she might: -- Search the automaker’s customer web portal without finding the exact data she needs -- Click to initiate a chat session with a contact center agent -- Clarify her interests via chat while the agent searches the company knowledge base -- Hear from the agent that he found the desired stats but wants to confirm they are up-to-date -- Wait for the agent to call her back with a confirmation Inside a next-generation, customer-centric knowledge network, ask-an-expert workforce optimization capabilities pull this customer into a closed-loop service experience with high potential for first contact resolution. Instead of resorting to a call-back, the agent takes advantage of UC-enabled rich presence to scan an online list of enterprise experts. Because workforce management is integrated to UC, he can identify an available product engineer who is already scheduled to support contact center inquiries. The agent uses the click-to-connect feature to call and collaborate with the expert, then sends a text message to the customer that confirms the stats are current. His response to the customer includes not only the requested data, but also a more in-depth performance benchmark report recommended and provided by the engineer. In one session, the customer receives the information she needs and experiences a higher service level than she expected.2 White Paper 5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for Customer Contact in a Social Marketplace © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. WHITE PAPER A New Customer Collaboration Model Cultivating Customer Contact-Ready Experts Building Lasting Customer-Company Relationships Sophisticated workforce optimization technologies allow NEXT-GENERATION CUSTOMER CONTACT organizations to: IM —— auge experts’ performance G CIO SMS to ensure they provide the SALES S PORTAL customer with the optimal quantity and the best quality of information PORTAL —— ecord experts’ interactions with R customers about sensitive topics to avoid costly disputes and potential litigation C CUSTOMER R SERVICE —— nvolve the best experts in I PRODUCT MARKETING customer contact to improve customer satisfaction, while The ability to connect directly or indirectly to the most helpful knowledge resources meets the respecting the time and needs of Consumer 2.0. By providing multichannel, open access to an optimized, closed-loop productivity demands of their service experience, organizations can build mutually profitable relationships with customers. other responsibilities 2—Formalize an Expert Escalation Policy for the Enterprise. Unified communications makes it possible for agents to escalate customer issues to the most qualified experts, and workforce management makes scheduling their time a practical reality. So how do organizations use experts’ scheduled time most wisely? A formal escalation policy is additional insurance against the risk of inefficient processes or subpar results when dealing ad hoc with challenging customer dilemmas. Two fundamentals work together to drive an effective escalation policy. First, multiple “ Adoption of workforce experts should be identified and enlisted to share customer contact responsibilities optimization technologies throughout the day. Second, organizations need to establish and allocate timeslots based and underlying processes is on how manageable they are for experts. Agents can then access their best available the new leading practice.”3 problem solvers without any impact on experts’ overall productivity. This approach takes full advantage of presence for agent-initiated searches as well as automated routing to achieve consistently reliable information quality — delivered more efficiently. Formal escalation policies set clear, uniform expectations about roles and Digging Deeper into responsibilities for customer experience contributors within and across functions, the Consumer Mindset and when those responsibilities apply. Having an accepted plan in place increases a company’s ability to enhance the customer experience with the right information In social spaces, more provided by the right person at the right time. The payoffs can include exceptionally companies are using advanced efficient first call resolution and dedicated brand advocacy. analytics techniques to: —— onitor consumer comments M 3—Capture the Total Customer Experience and Cultivate Continuous and measure consumer Operational Improvement. sentiment across social A simple service level score on an inbound call in the contact center barely begins to networks, blogs, customer tap the wealth of consumer sentiment or satisfaction data available today. Workforce communities and other optimization analytics can provide a composite view of the total customer experience interaction hotspots and detailed insights into consumer behavior by monitoring, capturing and measuring —— rompt participation in social P information across both traditional and newer Web 2.0 channels. media dialog when proactive alerts signal a change in More channels can mean more insights into consumer behavior, motivation and consumer opinions and attitudes sentiment. Voice, email and IM/chat offer a solid starting point for gathering additional customer intelligence. When organizations also cover consumer activity —— dentify emerging product and I service issues or capture high- via review and social sites, customer communities, short message service (SMS), potential consumer ideas blogs, video sharing sites, wikis and other collaborative online spaces, they can construct clearer and more complete customer profiles. —— ncover patterns and trends for U one or more social media modes 3 CedarCrestone 2010-2011 Survey3 White Paper 5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for Customer Contact in a Social Marketplace © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. WHITE PAPER Methods for Gathering Cross-channel Data R isk Reduction in a Organizations need to free customer data from silos by collecting and consolidating Regulated Environment information from every interaction at every customer touch point. Through WFO quality monitoring capabilities, they can record and analyze customer interactions When workforce behaviors and that take place both inside and outside the enterprise. business processes are subject to regulatory rules and policies, Quality monitoring capabilities are able to cast a wide net over customer contact workforce optimization can bring activity in the contact center, back office, and other internal functions, and external added benefits. Automated interactions that occur in the social sphere or involve participation by federated reporting and analysis partners. UC and collaboration capabilities combined with customer surveys, capabilities improve visibility powerful speech and desktop analytics, and other enterprise feedback management into customer interactions and tools make it possible to uncover key insights and significant trends. equip organizations to stand up to external scrutiny. They can Companies can more accurately and easily interpret information gathered through quickly respond to changing monitoring and reporting with automated, pre-designed dashboards and custom regulations and implement reports. These working assets, provided by quality and performance management the right controls to ensure technologies, deliver measureable and meaningful results. Further, integrating compliance and avoid costly analytics into workflow in real time enhances decision-making acumen and cultivates penalties. continuous operational improvement aligned with business goals for next-generation enterprise performance. 4—Schedule the Best Possible Combination of Agents, Back Office Staff and Dedicated Time for Experts Across All Channels to Deliver the Most Helpful Customer Experience Engaging Customers with Every Interaction. A centralized and comprehensive approach to staffing is the key to planning and Designated social media responders and participants budgeting for the right number of agents, back office staff and experts with the right can influence brand perception skills at the right time. Workforce management applications simplify and enhance and affinity through workforce this process with advanced forecasting and scheduling tools. With flexible staffing management capabilities that: capabilities, organizations are able to factor critical variables and cover a full range of possibilities. Predictive modeling creates powerful “what if” scenarios that help guide —— Determine scheduling adjustments needed to maintain decisions when scheduling resources on the fly. These insights also inform in-the- optimal social media coverage moment schedule adjustments to sudden changes in resource demand during key events, such as an ad campaign. —— oordinate the availability of C agents and experts to directly One challenge of balancing staff with transaction needs is the variation in response address individual needs times for different types of work. For instance, when processing claims, fulfilling revealed by chatter orders and completing other back office tasks occurs at multiple sites or outsourced —— ptimize staff for unexpected O locations, solving this equation becomes more complex. With the need to stay agile events, for example, a in the face of both predictable and unexpected staffing changes, forecasting and groundswell of activity in the scheduling capabilities – as well as intraday performance evaluation and schedule social sphere tracking – are invaluable for attaining optimal efficiency and effectiveness. —— eserve time for experts to R In a multichannel environment, each channel can produce unique call volume engage in group dialogue, inform fluctuations. Workforce management technologies simplify this scheduling challenge and educate consumers, and proactively create value-added by measuring the number and type of customer interactions across different experiences channels. Based on results, resources can be matched to anticipated customer demand in a specific channel. For instance, consumers are increasingly interacting with organizations on the web and when a transaction is initiated online, back office employees often handle the fulfillment. In this case predictive modeling gauges future demand for back office services so companies can optimize staffing to achieve higher customer satisfaction and lower costs. Establishing a Proactive Social Media Presence “ With social networking, Today’s consumers are realizing the power of social media when they want the collaboration is greater resulting in attention of companies they do business with. From a YouTube video created by lower costs and the organization a disgruntled customer and viewed by more than a million people in four days, is able to be more agile and to a bad product rating on a review site that might be available to consumers responsive.”4 indefinitely, companies are taking notice. Interacting effectively with consumers in the social media domain requires dedicated planning and processes. 4 CedarCrestone 2010-2011 Survey4 White Paper 5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for Customer Contact in a Social Marketplace © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. WHITE PAPER Scheduling agents and experts to engage with consumers through social media Keeping Customers can help companies participate in discussions that impact their brands and Happily Queue-less mitigate issues identified by monitoring. When agents and experts transparently engage customers through social media, they are able to take advantage of timely If a customer broadcasts opportunities to retain, regain or reinforce loyalty. By ensuring that resources are a complaint about a failed on hand to manage the customer experience in this realm, organizations are better product shipment on Twitter, prepared to adapt to changing conditions and to secure their customers’—and their workforce optimization’s social own—best interests. media analytics capabilities may pick up the chatter and 5—Motivate and Empower Customer Experience Contributors to Deliver Their alert a designated company Best Performance. responder. The employee can immediately contact the Creating the right human environment for next-generation customer contact helps shipping department, arrange to to keep human resources focused intently on the customer. Workforce optimization resolve the issue, and tweet the reporting and analytics technologies identify the best customer contact resources pertinent details to the customer through insights into the customer experience and agent and knowledge worker who never lifts a finger to call, performance. When companies continually engage these employees through IM or email the contact center. learning and coaching, they can maintain a workforce that performs consistently to set standards and is motivated and empowered to raise service levels. For example, in a collections environment, fair debt laws and regulations might Managing Agent require companies to provide training to support compliance. If a back office worker’s Performance through interaction with a customer strays from established policies, quality monitoring and Coaching performance management tools can: What is the best way to -- rigger an automated coaching session after monitoring identifies a knowledge T empower contact center agents deficit to manage and improve their performance? -- ecord and report conversations or actions for later review by the employee and R supervisor, and provide the opportunity to discuss the interaction with a supervisor—— ocus the front and back F for developmental feedback office staff on high-value key performance indicators (KPIs) Coaching, performance feedback and training helps the back office employee to—— nable performance and quality E perform above thresholds and the company to avoid fines, lawsuits and other insight with scorecards consequences of non-compliance. These capabilities also ensure that customer- facing agents are equipped to deliver the optimal customer experience each and—— nitiate automated alerts and I every time. coaching to identify and bridge skill and knowledge gaps Next-generation performance and quality management technologies nurture—— rovide targeted guidance to P customer-savvy agents. Through proactive best practices, agents become more support improved agent and competent and confident. Integrating customer satisfaction data with agent customer satisfaction performance metrics helps identify and address issues before they impact the bottom line. Informing agent scripts with customer insights ensures that agents are prepared to treat each customer as unique and communications are productive and satisfying on both sides of the interaction. Conclusion In today’s socially wired – and wireless – world, organizations that cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with consumers create more service, sales and marketing opportunities. A UC-enabled customer contact solution that tightly links business and communication technologies, and includes integral WFO capabilities, empowers companies with visibility, discipline and control at all customer touch points – inside and outside the contact center. Through the lens of a unified, multichannel, 360-degree view of customer engagement all facets of the customer experience come into sharper focus and reveal new opportunities to influence better outcomes. Workforce, quality and performance management capabilities enable continuous improvement of operational and employee performance through analytics and reporting, strategic staffing, evaluation and coaching, and business process automation. At the same time, they bring the added benefits of managed participation in the social sphere.5 White Paper 5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for Customer Contact in a Social Marketplace © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. WHITE PAPER As next-generation customer contact empowers a wider pool of individuals to strengthen the customer experience – in the contact center, the larger enterprise, with federated partners and in the social sphere – companies stand to gain a stronger voice, reputation and competitive advantage in the Consumer 2.0-dominated marketplace. Corporate Headquarters 300 Apollo Drive Chelmsford, MA 01824 978 250 7900 office 978 244 7410 fax Europe Africa Headquarters 2 The Square, Stockley Park Uxbridge Middlesex UB11 1AD +(44) 20 8589 1000 office +(44) 20 8589 1001 fax Asia Pacific Middle East Headquarters 138 Robinson Road #13-00 The Corporate Office Singapore 068906 +(65) 6590 0388 office +(65) 6324 1003 fax aspect.comAbout AspectAspect builds customer relationships through a combination of customer contact software and Microsoft platform solutions.For more information, visit White Paper 5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for Customer Contact in a Social Marketplace © 2011 Aspect Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3843US-A 7/11